STA, 18 August 2022 - Ptuj will be turning into Roman Poetovio for four days starting on Thursday as the 15th Roman Games get under way in what is Slovenia's oldest city. Nearly 800 costumed actors from six countries will represent life and customs from 2,000 years ago, when the city was a major trade and craft centre.
Gladiators, legionaries, senators, vestal virgins and other ancient Roman characters will fill the town and the Roman Camp Poetovio in the Štuki borough.
After two years with a scaled down programme and without visitors, the Roman Games are returning in full splendour, the organisers have announced.
They pointed out that around 7,000 visitors had been recorded in 2019 and spoke of the largest presentation of antiquity in this part of Europe.
Starting off things will be a space dedication ceremony and an evening party at the Poetovio Roman Camp. On Friday, there will be a children's camp with creative workshops and an evening spectacle in the Roman theatre acquired last year.
The main event will take place on Saturday in the form of a morning procession through the streets of Ptuj featuring all the participants of the games. Groups from abroad will take part and a gladiator fight is expected as well.
At noon the archaeological park Panorama will be the scene of a horse-drawn carriage race, before the action moves back to the camp, where the programme includes a demonstration of Roman crafts and a Roman dinner.
Sunday is family day and visitors will have the chance to enjoy themselves in the Roman way until 5pm, when the closing ceremony will take place with a dedication of the main pillar for the 16th Roman Games.
Poetovio, first mentioned in a written record 1,950 years ago, had more than 40,000 inhabitants, including some 10,000 soldiers. It was the biggest city in the region.
Poetovio established itself as a trade nexus due to its location along the ancient Amber Road trade route. It also prided itself on having its own mints as well as customs and tax offices.
In recent years, Slovenia has been recognized as one of the top wine-growing countries. Home to the oldest grapevine in the world, the country has an extremely rich and interesting history of winemaking. Whether you prefer white or red, sweet or dry, we guarantee in Slovenia there is the perfect variety waiting for you to taste it.
If you are not sure where to find it, here’s a tip. No other Slovenian wine region boasts as many old indigenous varieties as the Vipava Valley, so it is the perfect destination for a wine tasting experience that will last a lifetime.
Discover the secrets of Vipava Valley wine-making
One of the appeals of Vipava Valley is without a doubt its unique location. It is caught between the Alpine, Karst, and the Mediterranean, so by visiting this amazing region, you will get the best of three worlds. Vipava is considered a transitional region and because of that, it endured many turbulent conflicts. One of the most famous ones was the Battle of the Frigidus, a battle between the Western and Eastern halves of the Roman Empire.
But even the vicious fighting did not stop a tradition that is inseparable to the residents of Vipava Valley. And that tradition is winemaking.
Try the authentic varieties of Slovenian Wine
The combination of the unique location, favorable soil composition, and sunny climate allowed the winemakers of the valley to preserve a surprising number of historic local varieties. Although there are some amazing red wines to try when wine tasting in Slovenia, like Barbera or Merlot, the region is most famous for its white varietals.
An authentic grape variety that you simply must try when visiting Vipava is Zelen. Its gentle flowery and fruity aromas are complemented by Mediterranean herbs that give it a very special taste. Some other indigenous white varieties are Pinela, Klarnica, and Pergolin.
Learn from the knowledgeable winemakers
“Give a man a bottle of wine, he drinks for a day. Teach a man to make wine, he’ll always have lots of friends” is an ancient winemaker’s proverb that you will find to be very true once you visit the dedicated winemakers from Vipava Valley. They will be more than glad to share with you their stories, teach you about the history of the region and if you are lucky, share with you some secrets to making great wine.
We recommend booking a wine tour on which you will be welcomed by some of the best local winemakers that will take you to their wine cellars where you will get a taste of the region’s authentic varieties.
Make memories at a traditional wine tasting
There are not many pleasures in life that exceed pairing rich authentic wines with tasty local cuisine in the company of your closest ones. Taking a break and trying some traditional foods will also give you the energy to explore this region to the fullest.
You simply cannot go wrong with dry-cured Karst prosciutto, known as “Kraški Pršut” in Slovenian. Its texture and taste pair the wines so well, that it became almost synonymous with a proper Slovenian wine tasting. That way, you will be taken on an incredible culinary journey that you, and especially your taste buds, will never forget.
For an all-inclusive wine-tasting adventure in the exceptional Vipava Valley visit Wine Tours Slovenia and experience the country’s rich winemaking tradition in a single day.
STA, 16 August 2022 - A packed programme revolving around "tradition, transience and repetition" awaits visitors of the 25th edition of the international contemporary performing arts festival Mladi Levi (Young Lions), which will run in Ljubljana from 19 and 27 August.
The jubilee edition, put together by a new curator trio, will kick off with two performances, scheduled simultaneously on Friday.
The Stara Elektrarna venue will feature This Song My Father Used to Sing, an intimate piece by Thai director Wichaya Artama, while the Puppet Theatre's Stage under the Stars will host Bodybodybodybody, a show by Belgian musicians Dag Taeldeman and Andrew Van Ostade which curator Lea Kukovič said encompassed the whole of the 21st century.
What Kukovič labelled the likely most divisive performance of the festival will take place at Stara Elektrarna on Saturday. German director and artist Julian Hetzel's Campo: All Inclusive puts the Escape Gallery on stage to present works of art entirely made of several kilograms of rubble from the Syrian conflict zone.
Mornings at the festival will be marked by performances by Petra Varl, a Slovenian visual artist currently interested in the spectator, their position and experience in space.
Chilean artists Ebama Garin Corronel and Luisa Guenela Sota are bringing two performances to the festival. Minga of a Ruined House, scheduled on 23 August, deals with the meaning of home, while Mutilated focuses on police violence.
Both will take place at Stara Elektrarna, as will on 25 August the concluding event of the nine-year project Create to Connect Create to connect - Create to impact, which mostly deals with forms of ties between artists and communities and the impact of art in society.
Mladi Levi 2022 will end with a performance led by Slovenian artists Katja Legin in Bojana Robinson entitled Oh How Very Ordinary and dealing with how a closer look at ordinary lives shows they are actually full of interesting phenomena.
The programme moreover includes a premiere of Slovenian artist Neja Tomšič and Nonument Group's Circle, an immersive documentary installation with narration focusing on the park of railroad workers in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
The festival will also feature two panel debates, whose main topic will be the future in the context of art, social influence and outer space.
The entry fee for all performances is 1 euro, but visitors are welcome to contribute more.
STA, 12 August 2022 - Brežice Seviqc, an internationally renowned festival of early music, will get under way at the Devil's Tower near spa town Dolenjske Toplice on Friday with a concert by Serbian lutenist Andrej Jovanić. The festival will take place at picturesque venues in Dolenjske Toplice, Brežice, Šmartno pri Litiji, and Loška Dolina.
The long-running festival will also feature the Slovenian trio OperArija, consisting of soprano Petra Vrh Vrezec, baritone Al Vrezec and organist Gregor Klančič. They will perform in the church of St Lovrenc in Brežice in the east of the country.
Another concert will be given at Bogenšperk Castle in Šmartno pri Litiji, east of Ljubljana, featuring Italian cellist Federico Toffano.
The festival will then move to Brežice Castle for a solo soncert by Spanish violinist Jorge Jimenez. Other artists to perform there will be mezzo-soprano Jana Janku, violinist Martin Flašar, flautist Lucie Lukašova, harpsichordist Kamila Dubska and Katerina Stavkova on viola da gamba, who is form the Czech quintet Musica Poetica.
The last evening of the festival will take place on 20 August at Snežnik Castle in southern Slovenia, where the Slovenian three-member ensemble Messa di Voce will perform along with Colombian cellist Johanna Lopez Valencia on viola da gamba.
The trio consists of Urška Cvetko - recorder, Mojca Jerman - violin, and Izidor Erazem Grafenauer - baroque guitar and theorbo. The concert is already sold out.
One hour before each concert, talks with the musicians will be organised.
The festival was established in 1982. In 1997 it was moved from Radovljica in the north-west to Brežice, a year later it spread to neighbouring municipalities, and later to a number of venues across the country.
The name Seviqc is a contraction of the Latin "semper vita quam creata", which translates roughly as "always live as created", as the music performed at the festival remains faithful to the era when it was created.
STA, 5 August 2022 - Outgoing British PM Boris Johnson is on a short private trip to Slovenia, the office of Slovenian Prime Minister Rober Golob confirmed British media reports for the STA on Friday. Golob's office also said that no meeting between the two prime ministers was planned.
While Downing Street declined to reveal where Johnson is holidaying this week, the British media have reported that he is believed to be in Slovenia with his wife Carrie for a belated honeymoon.
STA, 3 August 2022 - A new via ferrata (Ferata Dobršnik )was inaugurated in a gorge in the municipality of Jesenice in the Karavanke Alps in the north-west of the country, to put Jesenice on the country's tourist map.
"There are many well-known tourist areas in our neighbourhood, and I believe we also have a number of attractions we can offer," Mayor Blaž Račič said on Wednesday.
Jesenice joined forces in the project with Kranjska Gora, a very popular tourist area in the Julian Alps, as the protected climbing route in the Dobršnik Gorge runs along the border between the two municipalities.
Kranjska Gora has opened four such via ferratas in recent years, in Gozd Martuljek and Mojstrana, and they have all proved very popular.
Some 1,000 metres long, the Dobršnik Ferrata is graded as moderate, alternating between easier and harder sections, with some caution needed.
It is also very picturesque, offering a view of as many as eight waterfalls while also being rich in flora and fauna, as well as fossils.
According to Almin Gorinjac, director of the Jesenice Sports Institute, there was a tourist route here already more than 100 years ago.
The ferrata, which cost both municipalities EUR 40,000, can also serve as a relatively safe training ground to get prepared for visiting high mountains.
Kranjska Gora Tourism Board head Blaž Veber is convinced the new ferrata in the Karavanke has a lot of tourism potential and rounds off the offer in Gozd Martuljek and Mojstrana. Kranjska Gora Mayor Janez Hrovat said that such protected climbing routes attracted tourist all year around.
STA, 1 August 2022 - Snežnik Castle in the south of Slovenia will host between Thursday and Sunday the 10th Floating Castle festival, which will transform the area into a multi-kilometre stage as visual-performative installations will serve as venues for more than 200 concerts of various genres.
The festival, whose main organiser is the Snežnik Castle Appreciators Association, will feature experimental jazz, punk cabaret, ambience electronic music, world fusion, South American beats and singer-songwriter music.
Visitors can also look forward to circus and acrobatics shows, dance performances, workshops and a programme for children or all those young at heart.
In total, the festival will feature 170 music and theatre groups from all over the world. The organisers see it more of a movement that goes on after the events end than a typical festival.
Visitors and performers can set up camp right next to the venues and there will be a festival market so they will not go hungry.
Special venues are the staple of Floating Castle. Performances will be held on water, on the roofs of fire engines, in the forest or in the castle cellar, and in the presence of knights and squires or enlarged chairs that create optical illusions.
This year's theme is a time machine taking visitors on a journey though the history of Snežnik Castle.
The festival will also introduce a dedicated currency - kojn, a pun playing with the words "coin" and "horse", which is "konj" in Slovenian. Every visitor will get five kojns to give them to their favourite performers. "All profits from the festival will be distributed among the performers according to the number of the kojns received," the organisers said.
The line-up includes singer-songwriter Kate Young with her fusion of Scottish and Bulgarian folk music, Argentinian guitar player Manu Rosales, gipsy-swing chanson sextet Karavana, Butoh dance collective Iliminal Butoh, movement-musical jam session Floating in the Air, and the Broken Hearts Trio, a band performing Chilean-Irish-Balkan folk music.
A special treat will be also a performance by the 100-member Etno Histeria World Orchestra 2022 that will wrap up its Primorska tour at the festival.
See more at the festival website
STA, 26 July 2022 - German flag carrier Lufthansa will cancel more than 1,000 flights from and to Munich and Frankfurt on Wednesday, including all of its flights to and from Ljubljana, due to a strike by ground staff.
Fraport Slovenija, the company managing Ljubljana airport, said Lufthansa also cancelled Wednesday's scheduled flights to Frankfurt and Munich from Ljubljana.
The cancellations will affect the departure for Frankfurt in the morning, the arrival from Munich and departure in the afternoon, the afternoon arrival from and departure to Frankfurt and the evening arrival from Frankfurt.
Verdi, the trade union which called on the ground staff to take part in the strike, said the industrial action will start on Wednesday at 3:45am and continue until Thursday 4am.
STA, 25 July 2022 - The number of nights spent in tourist accommodation facilities in Slovenia reached almost two million in June, which is nearly double year-on-year and a third of the total figure for the first half of 2022, when 2.3 million tourists spent more than 6 million nights in the country. The figures thus virtually reached pre-epidemic level.
A total of 795,000 visitors were recorded in June. Just over 351,000 were Slovenians and they spent 878,000 nights at tourist facilities, which is about a quarter more than a year ago. The almost 444,000 foreigners generated just under 1.1 million nights or 56% of total nights.
Most foreign visitors came from Germany (almost 272,900), followed by Austria, Italy, Hungary and Czechia.
In June, the most popular destination for tourists were mountain regions, where they spent 32% or 632,300 of all nights. The coast followed with 432,100 nights or 22% and spas with 18%.
Hotels are still the most popular type of tourist accommodation (738,700 nights were generated there or 37%). Private rooms, apartments and houses follow with 24%, while 18% of nights were spent at campsites.
In the first six months, 2.3 million visitors spent more than 6 million nights in Slovenia, which is about 4.3 million more than in the same period last year. Ljubljana is the leading destination with 729,400 nights, followed by the coastal town of Piran (703,300), the mountain resort Kranjska Gora (402,700) and the lakeside resort Bled (325,300).
Visitors from Slovenia generated 2.8 million nights in the first half of the year or 47%, while tourists from other countries spent 3.2 million nights or 53%. While Slovenians mostly stayed in Piran, foreigners preferred Ljubljana.
Ryanair in Talks for Return to Ljubljana in 2023
STA, 18 July 2022 - The Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has conducted talks with the Infrastructure and Economy Ministries about setting up flights from and to Ljubljana Airport, according to the Erar web portal. Slovenia is currently the only EU country without flights operated by Ryanair.
Currently working with over 250 airports, Ryanair is now aiming to add Ljubljana to its portfolio in 2023. The carrier briefly maintained flights between London Stansted and Maribor in 2007 and 2008, before terminating the cooperation.
After successfully setting up their Zagreb base in 2021, the budget airline now hopes to set up flights to and from Ljubljana Airport because of its proximity to the capital and Bled as a coveted travel destination.
Slovenia urgently needs a greater airline connectivity, said Matevž Frangež, a state secretary at the Economy Ministry, while representatives of the Infrastructure Ministry added they plan to appoint a new concessionaire to manage Maribor Airport.
Ryanair representatives expressed concerns over high costs per passenger at the Fraport-operated Ljubljana Airport, while Economy Ministry representatives explained to Ryanair the subsidy system, and that they have just finalised an open call for carriers in which Ryanair has not taken part.
State subsidies for carriers will amount to EUR 2 million this year, while last year the amount was EUR 5 million.
Ryanair and the two ministries agreed to draw up a list of destinations that are most strategically important and attractive, and set up a follow-up meeting for August to discuss their cooperation in detail.
According to the Sierra5.net air traffic web portal, the third international airport in Slovenia, located in Portorož, would not be suitable for Ryanair flights, as the landing strip is too short.
The web portal added that only the existing carriers operating to and from Ljubljana Airport could apply for Economy Ministry's subsidies for regular airlines, while the subsidies were not applicable to new carriers.
Maribor Airport would also be suitable for low-cost carriers due to good infrastructure solutions that would facilitate a quick and safe handling of aircraft as well as passengers, while staff shortage might present a problem, Sierra5.net concludes.
STA, 15 July 2022 - The 57th Beer and Flowers Festival will kick off on Friday, turning the eastern town of Laško into a three-day Mecca for beer lovers and horticulturists. In addition to traditional brews and blooms, the event promotes green practices, the organisers said.
There will be rock beats, polka music and other musical performances as well, with popular names such as singer-songwriter Vlado Kreslin and Šank Rock band.The festival in 2019
The organisers, Laško Centre for Sport, Tourism, Information and Culture, noted that visitors can opt for sustainable and green transportation to get to the festival. They can hike or ride a bike or a train to get to Laško, a town famous for beer brewing.
The national railway operator is again preparing a special train ride to accommodate the festival.
The event will wrap up on Sunday with a flower show, an exhibition marking the 160th anniversary of the Laško Brass Band and a Beer and Flowers parade.
Laško Brewery used to be the largest brewery in Slovenia. Together with the Ljubljana-based Union Brewery it was acquired by Dutch beer giant Heineken in 2015, and the two merged into Laško Union Brewery the following year. Last year, production was moved from Ljubljana to Laško due to safety concerns, but packaging and logistics activities continue in the capital.